The Singapore Slingers ended the Merlion Cup in disappointment as they crashed to Seoul Samsung Thunders 55-94 in the bronze medal match at the OCBC Arena on Sunday afternoon.
The hosts missed out on the finals by a mere two points after a thrilling match against tournament favourites Mighty Sports on Saturday.
Wong Wei Long (with ball) of the Singapore Slingers in action during the Merlion Cup at the OCBC Arena. Photo: Sport Singapore
But the game that ended past 10pm the previous day took too much of a toll on the fitness of the Slingers as they turned in a sluggish performance against the Korean team.
The visitors dominated throughout the match and led from start to finish as the home side were unable to find a way back into the game despite fielding most of their first team players.
While the Koreans finished the match with five players notching up double digits on the scoreboard, the Slingers only had Xavier Alexander to rely on as the American finished with 22 points and 8 rebounds.
Xavier Alexander of the Singapore Slingers ended the game with 22 points and 8 rebounds. Photo: Sport Singapore
“Everyone is too tired to perform today. We came out from a rough game yesterday night but of course, we could have done better in terms of our tempo, rhythm and execution as a team,” said Wong Wei Long.
Coach Neo Beng Siang was also understandably disappointed with his team’s performance after the game.
“They dominated the ball tonight and made too many turnovers. We shot badly. That basically cost us the whole game,” the 55-year-old said.
“We had just one week (of training together as a team) for this tournament, and the lack of training much cost us, but that is not an excuse at all.”
The Slingers may have lost badly, but there are many lessons that could be learnt from this match ahead of the start of the ASEAN Basketball League season.
“We are small. We need to work on our team defence, to help out our lack of height,” Neo said.
“There are a lot of things we need to tidy up; we saw our weaknesses, especially in boxing out against the big. If you don’t box out as a team, even the small (players) can come in and grab the rebound as well.”
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